For twenty years, Tanya L. Crenshaw has been an active STEM advocate. Independent of setting or vocation, she has demonstrated a dedication to helping under-represented people strengthen their sense of belonging and enrich their relationships to the tech community.
1996 - 1998. As an officer of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) student chapter at University of Portland, she served her community by organizing and hosting a campus-wide engineering job fair. Most notably, she exercised her talents in community organizing to relocate the fair from an all-women’s dorm to the university’s basketball arena.
1998 - 2001. While working in industry, she worked as a Group Leader for AWSEM (NSF Project Number: 9714862), an advocacy program partnered with Saturday Academy, designed to expand STEM outreach to fourth through twelfth grade girls. She met weekly with club members at Mt. Tabor Middle School, conducting hands-on experiments or attending field trips at enterprises such as Tektronix, Sharp, and the Oregon Graduate Institute.
2002 - 2008. Upon returning to academia to earn a Ph.D., she participated in CS2GO, an outreach program aimed at getting kids interested in Computer Science. It featured the MergeSort DanceTroop, a small group of undergraduate and graduate students who danced the merge sort algorithm, a performance she choreographed.
2008 - 2016. As a professor, she earned tenure by providing students with meaningful hands-on experiences rooted in her technical expertise. She designed and presented works such as, “Setting up a Capture the Flag Game for a Computer Security Course” and published articles such as “Using Robots and Contract Learning to Teach Cyber-Physical Systems to Undergraduates.” With these efforts, she demonstrated the social relevance of computing and avoided male-stereotyped concepts to motivate learning.
2016 - Present. With her return to industry, she maintains her presence in the Portland tech community, attending and speaking at networking events hosted by PDXWIT. These events are of particular interest; through them, she develops relationships with people who are forging new paths into the tech community.